I have been thinking a lot about affirmations this last week and the power words have on how we feel about ourselves. To be honest, I’ve always considered affirmations to be ‘fluffy self-talk statements for inner peace’ but I’ve found there is nothing fluffy about them. Affirmations are extremely beneficial for how we approach life and are like exercises for our mind and outlook. Generally they are used to manifest goals, dreams, or experiences we desire.
Last week I went climbing with a dear friend of mine. We were talking about how often we both fall into the trap of undervaluing ourselves and how this brings us down. And when this happens we struggle to turn our negative thoughts around. This made me very aware of the power words have on us and how they can either make or break our experiences. But how can we take charge of what’s happening in our minds and how do we go about changing our language?
I started looking for exercises on how to train our brains to reprogram our thinking patterns and internalise positive affirmations. All of our self-talk, our internal dialogue, is a stream of affirmations so it seems wise to tilt toward what’s positive!
In my search I stumbled across a popular TedX talk by Therapist Marisa Peer. Marisa explains “changing your language is about more than positive thinking, it’s about collaborating with your mind. You have to change your thinking and change your words because the pictures you make in your head and the words you say to yourself will change your whole experience; that’s all you have to do. Whatever you tell your mind, it believes. So tell it better things.”
She uses the powerful example of Muhammed Ali and the way he collaborated with his own mind to become the greatest boxer of all time: “It’s people’s fear that stops them taking on challenges. I told myself I was the greatest before I even was. I believed in myself, and guess what? I became the greatest.”
Muhammed Ali was very specific in the words he chose to motivate himself become the greatest. He would have never ever become the best if he would have told himself he was too skinny, too small, too weak, too tired etc. He repeated to himself he had what it takes to become the best, so he worked hard for it and he made it true.
So next to training his body day in day out, Ali spent a massive amount of time on training his mind. It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. By making it a daily practice, these positive mental repetitions can reprogram our thinking patterns so that, over time, we begin to think – and act – differently.
To me, spending time on short affirmation exercises and making it a daily practice seems like a game changer. I’ve only been doing this for a couple of days now but I’ve already experienced a shift in my confidence and productivity. So for anyone interested in building the most fantastic collaboration with your mind, I highly recommend spending just a few minutes each day writing down your best qualities and let your affirmations eventually beat your frustrations :D